Analysts doubt Cliffs altering acquisition offer for Alpha

Nov 06, 2008 | 09:02 AM | Mick Bowen

Analysts doubt that Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is reworking its cash-and-stock acquisition offer for coal miner Alpha Natural Resources Inc. after postponing a shareholder vote on the proposed merger to Dec. 19 from Nov. 21.

"There has been speculation about sweetening the deal ad nauseam, but Cliffs has held firm with the initial offer," said Mark Parr, analyst at KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., Cleveland. "Cliffs could potentially change its position, but we haven't seen any movement in that direction."

Reuters earlier this week quoted Longbow Research analyst David MacGregor as saying that Cliffs could offer more cash after the value of the original bid dropped to around $3.75 million from $8.3 million as shares in Cleveland-based Cliffs have fallen 75 percent since the merger was announced in July.....

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